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Mower Mania delights Australia Day crowd

By Simon Ruppert

The ever-popular Moorngag Mower Mania took place on Saturday - about two months after it was originally scheduled.

However, the Benalla Festival's loss was Australia Day's gain after organisers were forced to postpone thanks to rain.

Organiser Andrew Lavis said this year was the biggest Mower Mania yet and the committee had made the decision to continue next year.

Photo by Karl Phillipson

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“It was originally a three-year project,” Mr Lavis said.

“But in the words of Shane Stafford, one of our committee members ‘We’ve created a monster'. So we will continue. It's hard work, but we enjoy it.”

This year there were more than 520 people through the gate.

“And when you consider the competitors and their entourage there was quite a few more,” Mr Lavis said.

“And the model trains, organised by Rod Famer from Benalla Bus Lines, were amazing.

Photo by Karl Phillipson

“Attendees were blown away by the displays and they have had great feedback via Facebook.” 

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Mr Lavis said the money raised on the day would go partly to help modernise the Moorngag Hall Kitchen.

“And we also had a fundraiser for the victims of bushfire,” Mr Lavis said.

“I approached local CFA Captain Jim Renkin as we wanted to contribute some money towards the victims of the fires.

“But didn’t want to go through an agency. We wanted the money to go directly to the right people. And we raised just over $300.

Photo by Karl Phillipson

Mr Lavis said the event cold not have happened without the support of many people. 

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“I'd like to say thank you to our sponsors, BRCC, Enjoy Benalla, and everyone who contributed to the day.

“And a big thank you to the public who have been so supportive and so interested.”

Moorngag Mower Mania will return later in 2020, once again as part of the Benalla Festival in October.